THE ALL-SEEING

          Out of the ninety-nine magnificent names of Allah The Almighty, one is Al Baseer (The All-Seeing). Almost every Muslim has heard this name, but have we ever thought how powerful it is? Have we ever thought of the most powerful entity watching us all the time? Unfortunately not. The part ‘Al’ in the name specifies a proper noun in the Arabic language, which refers to someone who possesses some specialty in a particular character. In this case, Al-Baseer refers to Allah, who possesses this unprecedented attribute of being watchful. He has the ultimate and unmatched strength of vision. His power of seeing is neither bound to His attention, nor to His presence.

No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. And He is the Subtle, the Aware.

[Al-An’am: 103]

           He is watchful of everything and everyone, within or beyond human reach. It’s interesting how this single name has such a hidden treasure of meanings. The vision of Allah Almighty is not to be confused or confined to the standards of human eyesight and its limitations. It cannot be compared with the most advanced technological tools used for vision either. His vision is beyond limits, unique and independent of light or dark, omnipotent and omnipresent. His wisdom and his vision have a synergistic effect which results in something we call “Divine”. In fact, all His characteristics and names combine and assist one another in the most phenomenal of the ways and result in something which makes Him the most powerful entity. Even though every Muslim believes in the reality of this name, yet he forgets while indulging himself in sins that he is being continuously examined by a keen observer and is never alone, not even in the darkest of nights, or loneliest of places. The Qur’an mentions the omnipresence of Allah in the following way: “And He is with you wherever you are, and Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.” The deeper the belief in these divine words, the cautious one would be in his/her actions. So the true remembrance and realization of this character can help us become conscious of our dealings and actions, thus leading us to the ultimate success both in this life, and the life hereafter.

By Muhammad Aafaq Lone

Balance Between Deen and Dunya

There are countless challenges for human beings on earth, like multitasking: managing studies and extracurricular activities, managing time for business and family, enjoying life and conforming to responsibilities. As one can see where two things are to be done together balance is the necessity. without balance problems cannot be resolved, and more difficult circumstances will be created, which can become extremely difficult to handle. Muslims have a unique challenge: life is not only about the worldly actions but there is more to it. Dunya without deen is no success for them. life has a different definition for them, because for them life is to accomplish their worldly successes along with success in deen.

Deen comes in every lifestyle. We start and end our days where all the rules, principles, and enriched values that Islam has taught us can be applied. However, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain the balance between the worldly affairs and the affairs of Islam. we must remember that we have not been created just to enjoy or to work towards attaining the materialistic desires. Our life is directed to a goal where worship should be the priority as we look forward to the beautiful rewards that await us in Jannah. To talk about the need and significance for us to worship can take several pages but the topic here is about balance. Muslims have to offer prayers five times a day. it is an obligation upon us, and the time robbed by the worldly affairs has made it quite a challenge. one might be in class at university when the Muazin gives the azaan, one might be driving to university and already getting late at the time of prayers; these are just some of the challenges we face in our daily life. But the challenge can be a lot easier if we define our priorities. prayer is a source of peace for us from the stressful load this world offers us and is a source of connection with Allah SWT. When humans prioritize things in their life they find a way through it. A busy life makes prayer harder but prayer makes a busy life easier. Thus, prayer is necessary to achieve balance in this world and succeed n both deen and dunya.

By Hajra Bilal

Itminan Story

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Diary of a Student

I sat outside the doors of Rozaey Mubarak, my lips moist with zikar and my heart trembling. It had been an hour of waiting as I kept sending Durood on you. The more I thought of meeting you, the more I cried. I kept thinking how would I ever face you? What would I say to you? My eyes were on the door, tears rolled down my eyes but my heart, for the first time in my life, was with you. Everyone around me was in a state of unrest as they moved here and there, waiting desperately to meet you. But I sat in a corner, just crying, not knowing what would I say to that one person who loved me so much. Every sacrifice that you had done for me, and every sin that I had done not to value that sacrifice, crossed my mind. Every night that you had been up for me and every night that I had wasted crossed my mind. Every empty durood that had been said by my tongue weighed like a stone on my heart. Every act I had done just because it was sunnah brought tears to my eyes. The love that I felt for you that day, I had never felt it before. It was not long that the doors opened and I saw everyone rush to meet you. I followed them at a much slower pace; each step was hard to take. When I was there, right in front of you, I raised my hands, and my heart begged for only one thing: that you smile at me when you see me on the day of judgment, and you are proud that I am your daughter.

—-

It is a strange world that I live in. Sometimes I look at the stars, and I wonder, are you watching me? Do you see me running from class to class? As soon as the week starts and I have to wake up for the first 8 am class of the week, I feel like it is a rollercoaster that I embark on. A roller coaster on which I try to fit in my Deen and Dunya. As I go from class to class, as I run from room to room, as I read my class readings in every spare minute, I see myself fitting in my prayers in the 5-minute class breaks. I see myself doing empty sajdahs so that I can run back to my classes. As the week progresses from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, I get worse. But I tell my heart, it is okay, don’t worry, let Friday come. On Friday I will tell my Rabb how much I love Him. I will forget the world and sit with Him. I will talk to Him, and I will tell Him my stories. I have so much to say to Him. Just let Friday come that day it will only be Him and me. I build up my hopes, and I live a fantasy of that Friday to come. When Thursday comes, and my classes end by 6:00 and I drag myself to the masjid, I realize, I am so tired. I do not have the energy anymore. As tears roll down my face, I look up at the stars again, and I wonder, are you watching me? My heart is heavy, my eyes are wet, and I crave closeness to you, but I do not have the energy anymore. All I have is an overbearing love in my heart that I wish to express to you.

—-

I still remember that day. Our plane landed at Qatar airlines. I remember those two hours that we waited to transfer our carriers to Jeddah. That two hours in Qatar were wonderful. I didn’t know I had that much love in me for people. I remember that girl who came up to me and inquired, “kaifa Hammam?” I smiled at her and pointed to the left. I don’t know what people saw when they looked at me at that time. Did they see a crazy hijaabi, smiling at everything and everyone around her? Or did they see the love in my eyes as I glanced at someone speaking Arabic? I would touch the water and whisper, “Ma’un.” I would touch things and whisper, “Maa haaza.” That is all the Arabic that I knew, but for a moment it seemed enough.

After that, everything is a blur, reaching Jeddah, reaching Makkah, the hotel, the fatigue, everything is a blur except the walk to the Ka’bah. As I walked, I was not alone. There were countless men and women around me in Ahraam, and they were all saying, “Labaik, Allahumma Labaik.” I looked at them, and I wondered, this is just Umrah, what would this crowd be like at Hajj time. How louder would the cry of Labaik be? How high would the level of emotions be? As I looked around and I entered the haram paak, I felt like I was living a dream. When I reached Baabe Salam, and I took the stairs to go to the ground floor, my heart was a mess. I was in front of it. Finally. I was right there in front of it. The moment that I had waited for so many months was here. I raised my head and looked at the Ka’aba for the first time. I was in awe. I could not look away even as I cried. And even as I raised my hands to make dua, I could not look elsewhere. I felt like it was a dream. I wanted to touch it, I wanted to hug it, and I wanted to cry about all the injustices that I had done to my soul. I still remember that day.

When I look back, I wonder, was it a dream? I think of the Zam-zam coolers lined up. I think of the gates of the Masjid-e-Nabwi. I think of the last moment that I saw the Ka’bah and the sadness I felt as I wondered if I would ever see it again. I feel that sadness now too. I think of the first look, the first tawaf, the drink of Zam-zam and I wonder was it all a dream? If it was not, I want to see it again, I want to repeat Labaik, I want to feel it all again. The next time I go, I am not coming back.

—-

It is that time of the semester when nothing makes sense. The grades get worse, emotions get stronger, and relationships get better as when at the start of the semester. It is that time of the semester when I have traveled a long distance away from You. When I want to cry but I cannot. When I want to remember You, but I do not. When I want to do good deeds, but I do not. When my heart is broken, and all I want to do is, curl up on the prayer mat and cry to You about all the injustices I have done to my soul. When every person’s presence I crave because I neglected Your presence. When I scroll through contacts at night, wanting to talk to someone and tell her how upset I am because I stopped realizing that You answered me way before the makhlooq. Like every other semester, I am back at that point where I am broken, dirty, lost and in need of You. I raise my hands, but I no longer know what to say to you. I look at people, and I hide because I am afraid they would know how horrible I am. Every day I am halfway towards hopelessness before my heart drags me back. Every day my nafs drags me to the doors of hell, but the door of your Rehmah comes in between that way. Every day is hard because it is that time of the semester when I have traveled a long distance away from you. Once upon a time, once upon a few days, once upon a few moments, I was solely utterly Yours. I want that time back.

—-

I was annoyed at my phone. I don’t know why it was continuously turning off even though I did not use it often. I had even uninstalled extra applications such as Snapchat, Facebook, etc. I took great care that it would not fall from my hands or any other place that I placed it on. In the two years that it was with me it had never fallen in water as my siblings’ phones did. I had started wearing wrist watch just so that I would not have to look at my phone again and again for me. I had reduced the amount of time I spent on my phone. After all these steps it had continued to turn off without any reason. It was charged around 60 percent, and I had just picked t up after many hours. Suddenly it turned off again. Finally, I had to take that extreme step which I was avoiding: factory reset. I looked at all the applications that had installed. There were only a few as I had uninstalled the others. I backed up all my photos, contacts, and any other file that was on my phone. Then I tapped on the factory reset option and waited as the process started. Alas! My phone turned off again. And I let it be. Aesy hay tou aesy hi sahi. Later I realized that this was so similar to our life in this world. We don’t know when the flicker of our life turns off. All the installed applications in our phone are very much like the things we gather in this world: wealth, property, education, etc. All these were not the built-in apps in our lives. We specifically downloaded them to live a better and entertaining life. The built-in app in our life is our fitrah which knows that we have come in this life to pray, to worship Allah SWT. The built-in app is the Quran which was revealed for us 1400 years ago, so that we live our lives according to the commandments of Allah SWT. The built-in app is the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which guides us how to live in this world. All the backup data is our aamal which we save for the Hereafter. That backup will determine our place in the next world: Jannat or Jahannum.

Tauba ki azmat aur taseer By Muhammad Afaq Lone

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Secret Revealed

How can I increase my good deeds? Is praying five times a day enough? Is it enough if I only do what is obligatory and leave the rest? What about Sunnah acts? Wouldn’t it be difficult to take care about so many things with my busy routine at LUMS; with all the quizzes, assignments and deadlines? Have these questions ever come across your mind? Should I not tell you a secret how you can earn reward on small deeds you do every day? Yes, you got it right, you can earn reward on something as small and ordinary as your routine work. But the question arises “how?” Should I reveal the secret to you? Indeed, as saying good words is also a charity.

How is that you can transform your daily routine activities into good deeds? It is through the “niyyah” or intention that this can be achieved. All you have to do is to make niyyah that you are doing this because Prophet (S.A.W) used to do this and you are doing a particular act in a certain way because He (S.A.W) used to do it this way.

Now you may wonder how one can make niyyah on acts like brushing your teeth because back then there were no toothbrushes. Will you get reward only if you clean your teeth with Siwak (Miswak)? Well, Miswak is a very beautiful Sunnah which has many spiritual and physical benefits but you can also earn reward while using toothbrush. So the question is what niyyah should you make while brushing your teeth? You can make a niyyah of ‘cleaning your teeth’ as a narration of ‘Aishah R.A says: “The Prophet of ALLAH (SAW) would clean his teeth with the Siwak.” So, you can get the same reward while brushing your teeth if you make a niyyah of following the Sunnah of cleaning your teeth whereas it is a blessing upon blessing if you use Siwak.

One may ask how can I get reward on mundane acts such as eating food. You can make a niyyah that you are eating food to gain energy which you will spend in the obedience of Allah SWT, for example offering your prayers more efficiently. You can also make a niyyah that you are eating it because Allah SWT has given you your body as a trust, and you must do everything to take proper care of yourself. You could make a niyyah that after eating food you will get pleasure and comfort and then you will be able to thank your lord wholeheartedly. You can add all of these niyyah to get reward. Likewise, you can get reward on any of your routine work by making such niyyah.

Here’s a list of a few things you can do by making a niyyah of following the Sunnah:

  1. Not keeping hatred or ill-will in your heart for anything.

  2. Performing ghusl and trimming the nails on Friday.

  3. Wearing the right shoe first and taking off the left one first.

  4. To walk to ‘Eid prayers and to eat something before leaving for ‘Eid-ul-Fitr prayer whereas not eating something before ‘Eid-ul-Azha prayer.

  5. Recite “Allah-u-Akbar” while going up the stairs and “SubhanAllah” while going down.

  6. Entering your house and the mosque with the right foot first and leaving with the left one first.

  7. Saying Salaam when you enter home.

  8. Entering the toilet with the left foot first and leaving with right foot first.

  9. Washing your hands before eating food.

  10. Saying Bismillah before eating food.

  11. Eating and drinking with your right hand.

  12. Eating and drinking while sitting.

  13. Drinking water in three breaths

  14. Eating dates, honey, olives, barley, figs, grapes, melon, milk, mushroom, pomegranate, vinegar, water

  15. Using three fingers while eating: thumb, index finger and middle finger and using 4th ring finger if needed.

  16. Licking your fingers thrice after eating

  17. Eating sehri in Ramadan.

  18. Accepting the invitation if someone invites you for lunch or dinner

  19. Letting the rain fall on a part of your body.

  20. Dusting off your bed before sleeping.

  21. Sleeping on your right side.

Charity, is indeed, also a great act. Donating 5 Rs. at PDC counter, putting some money in the Shaukat Khanum box, giving away money to the janitors, donating your stuff or blood. But do you always need to have money to do charity? Let me tell you another secret, in Islam charity is not limited to helping someone monetarily or donating stuff. There are a lot other ways to do charity. The Prophet SAW said:

Let one of you not consider any good to be insignificant. If he has nothing, then let him meet his brother with a smiling face. If you buy some meat or cook something in a pot, then increase its broth, and serve some of it to your neighbor.” (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)

Let’s see what other ways are there to do charity according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW:

  1. Establishing justice between two men is charity.

  2. Assisting a man to ride an animal or to load his luggage on it is charity.

  3. Uttering a good word is charity.

  4. Every step which one takes towards (the mosque for) Salat is charity.

  5. To meet your brother with a smiling face is charity.

  6. Commanding good and forbidding evil is charity.

  7. Giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity.

  8. Seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity.

  9. Removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone or harmful things from the road/way is charity for you.

  10. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification and His praise, every utterance of profession of His Oneness and His Greatness is an act of charity.

  11. To pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother is charity for you.

  12. Planting a tree is a charity.

  13. Spending on your family is a deed of charity.

  14. Refraining from doing evil is an act of charity.

  15. Giving respite to one in difficulty.

  16. Providing drinking water is charity.

  17. Reciting the Noble Qura’n aloud and quietly is like giving charity publicly and secretly respectively.

The above mentioned Sunnah acts and acts of charity are just a few. The life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad SAWW is full of these. If you want to know more start reading the books on Seerah (the life of Prophet Muhammad SAWW) and Hadith of Muhammad SAW. There are many other virtues of charity as mentioned in Hadith:

“Indeed charity extinguishes the Lord’s anger and it protects against the evil death.”

“Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.” “Charity does not diminish wealth.”

“The best of charity is that which is given when you are self-sufficient, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and start with those for whom you are responsible.”

“Do not take back what you have given in charity.”

“A Dirham surpassed a hundred thousand Dirhams.” They said: “How?” He said: “A man had two Dirhams and gave one in charity, and another man went part of his wealth and took out a hundred thousand Dirhams and gave them in charity.

By Fizza Arif